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    Special report | Fishy business

    Many Mass. restaurants still serve mislabeled fish

    A year after a Globe investigation found restaurants and stores across Massachusetts were routinely selling cheaper, lower quality fish than they promised customers, a new round of DNA testing shows the vast majority of those venues are still mislabeling seafood. Of the 76 seafood samples tested by the Globe, 76 percent were mislabeled for the second year in a row. The Globe focused most of its testing on certain species that have been identified by regulators as more likely to be mislabeled.

    Results
    Correctly labeled
    Mislabeled

    Filter the results by moving or zooming the map

    Merchants with mislabeled seafood in 2011 and 2012

    Boston

    Chinatown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Confirmed escolar
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Chinatown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Ordered correctly from supplier
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Fenway
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Corrected dinner menu but not online and takeout menus and receipt.
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    Sunshine bass
    Jamaica Plain
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    not local, usually frozen and a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Recently revised menu; eliminated the word "fresh"
    2011 Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Jamaica Plain
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Crimson snapper
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Confirmed crimson snapper
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Ocean perch
    Chinatown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Flounder
    DNA result:
    Swai
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species
    Store response:
    Chinese characters on box say flounder, English description says swai
    2011 Item ordered:
    Flounder
    2011 DNA result:
    Swai
    Chinatown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Sole
    DNA result:
    Swai
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species
    Store response:
    Only orders grey sole
    2011 Item ordered:
    Sole
    2011 DNA result:
    Swai
    Chinatown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Did not return calls
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    South Boston
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error; said menu has changed
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Roslindale
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna (escolar)
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Most customers know escolar as white tuna
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Most customers know hybrid bass as striped bass
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass

    Cape & Islands

    Mashpee
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Thought white tuna is another name for escolar
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Atlantic halibut
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Box from supplier labeled as red snapper
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Aquinnah
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Blamed chef's error
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna, Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar, Tilapia
    Hyannis Port
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Customers know the name 'red snapper' for tilapia
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Supplier said escolar and white tuna is the same thing; menu lists both
    2011 Item ordered:
    NA
    2011 DNA result:
    NA
    Falmouth
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Unaware hybrid bass couldn't be called striped bass; planned to change menu
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Ordered correctly from supplier
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Oak Bluffs
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Albacore
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Blamed chef error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Blamed chef error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Dennis
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Haddock
    Substituted species is...
    usually a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Sole
    2011 DNA result:
    Alaska plaice
    Edgartown
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Did not return messages
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar

    North

    Peabody
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    New England fish and chips (cod)
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    not local, usually frozen, and a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Name refers to New England style of preparation
    2011 Item ordered:
    New england cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Burlington
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Pinjalo snapper
    Substituted species is...
    a less expensive species
    Store response:
    Confirmed different snapper species
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Crimson snapper
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Grouper
    DNA result:
    Nile perch
    Substituted species is...
    a less expensive freshwater species
    Store response:
    Investigating the source of mislabeling
    2011 Item ordered:
    white tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    escolar
    Saugus
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Confirmed hybrid bass
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna, Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar, Tilapia
    Salem
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Substitutes tilapia when out of striped bass
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass, White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia, Escolar
    Somerville
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    European sea bass
    Substituted species is...
    mislabeled
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error; revised menu
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    European sea bass
    Woburn
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Did not return messages
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Haverhill
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Promised to change menus
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Promised to change menus
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia

    West

    Brookline
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Ordered striped bass from distributor
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass
    Correctly labeled
    Item ordered:
    Albacore
    DNA result:
    Albacore
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Bedford
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna (albacore)
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Planned to change menu
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Could not find supplier with red snapper
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Worcester
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Did not return messages but menu lists escolar and white tuna
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Did not return messages
    2011 Item ordered:
    NA
    2011 DNA result:
    NA
    Wellesley
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Alaskan butterfish
    DNA result:
    Sablefish
    Substituted species is...
    mislabeled
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error; said menu has changed
    2011 Item ordered:
    Alaskan butterfish
    2011 DNA result:
    Sablefish
    Worcester
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    New owner unaware of mislabeling
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    New owner unaware of mislabeling
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    white bass
    Framingham
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Native scrod (cod)
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    not local, usually frozen, and a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Could not explain how substitution occurred
    2011 Item ordered:
    Scrod
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Natick
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna (escolar)
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Did not return messages
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Correctly labeled
    Item ordered:
    Tilapia
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Brookline
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Planned to change menu
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Serves striped bass most of the time
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass
    Chestnut Hill
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    DNA result:
    White bass
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed hybrid bass, not wild
    Store response:
    Confirmed hybrid bass
    2011 Item ordered:
    Super white tuna, Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar, Sea bream
    Brookline
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Confirmed escolar, added advisory to menu
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Newton
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Tai/Red Snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia

    South

    Foxborough
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Local cod
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    not local, usually frozen, cheaper species
    Store response:
    Menu has been corrected
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Lane snapper
    Plymouth
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Grouper
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Blamed supplier
    2011 Item ordered:
    NA
    2011 DNA result:
    NA
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Scrod Nantucket (haddock)
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    frozen, cheaper species, not local
    Store response:
    Clerical error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Scrod (haddock)
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Attleboro
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Local cod
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Substituted species is...
    not local, usually frozen, and a cheaper species
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error; said menu has changed
    2011 Item ordered:
    Scrod (haddock)
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    Mattapoisett
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Scrod (haddock)
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    Substituted species is...
    mislabeled
    Store response:
    Blamed clerical error
    2011 Item ordered:
    Scrod (haddock)
    2011 DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    Plymouth
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper*
    2011 DNA result:
    *Tilapia; staff informed tilapia substituted when order picked up
    Plymouth
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    Escolar
    Substituted species is...
    a cause of severe gastrointestinal problems
    Store response:
    Escolar has become known as white tuna
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Swansea
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar
    Mislabeled
    Item ordered:
    White tuna
    DNA result:
    tilapia
    Substituted species is...
    a cheaper, farmed species, not wild
    Store response:
    Declined to comment
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia

    Merchants with correctly labeled seafood in 2012

    Boston

    Longwood Medical Area
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Hake
    Dorchester
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Flounder
    DNA result:
    Flounder
    2011 Item ordered:
    Flounder
    2011 DNA result:
    Swai
    Fanueil Hall
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Haddock
    Back Bay
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Atlantic cod
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Haddock

    Cape & Islands

    Wellfleet
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Haddock
    Nantucket
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Halibut
    DNA result:
    Halibut
    2011 Item ordered:
    Striped bass
    2011 DNA result:
    White bass
    Nantucket
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod
    North Eastham
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Cod
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Haddock
    2011 DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    Bourne
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Fresh cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Pacific cod

    North

    Newburyport
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Haddock
    DNA result:
    Haddock
    2011 Item ordered:
    Cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Haddock
    Peabody
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Boston scrod (cod)
    DNA result:
    Atlantic cod
    2011 Item ordered:
    Cod
    2011 DNA result:
    Haddock
    Cambridge
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Tilapia
    DNA result:
    Tilapia
    2011 Item ordered:
    Red snapper
    2011 DNA result:
    Tilapia

    South

    Foxborough
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Haddock
    DNA result:
    Haddock
    2011 Item ordered:
    White tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Escolar

    West

    Westborough
    Correct
    Item ordered:
    Ahi tuna
    DNA result:
    Yellowfin tuna
    2011 Item ordered:
    Yellowfin tuna
    2011 DNA result:
    Southern bluefin tuna
    Sources: Biodiversity Institute of Ontario; ACGT, Inc; FDA; restaurants
    Tom Giratikanon and Alvin Chang / Globe Staff